Communication is a valuable art and an individual’s effectiveness as a leader, co-worker or friend will depend on their interpersonal and communication skills. Without a doubt, communication skills are not a simple formula; however, it is not impossible for people to communicate effectively and respectfully. A person can stand in a corner without saying one word; yet, with one simple kick or facial expression, they can communicate. A key to having an effective communication skill is by having good listening skills.
The four stages of the listening process are simple to remember, (1) attending, (2) interpreting, (3) responding, and (4) remembering. (Dobbin and Pace, peg. 1 17) The listening process begins when e actively select, or attend to, stimuli in our environment. (Dobbin and pace, peg. 11 7) Many things can affect the way one can perceive his/her communication skills to others. A person must have a clear and pleasant tone in his/her voice in order to appeal to the listeners. Having good listening skills makes the speaker feel admirable, appreciated and respected.
When a person listens, they encourage the skill in others by acting as a model for positive and effective communication. In order to develop effective listening skills one should: 1. Minimize all external and internal distractions 2. Focus on what the speaker is saying . Keep an open mind in order not to make assumptions According to the Washington Times: “More often than one might think, listening has to happen before speaking can begin. This is especially true for babies. During their first few months, they hear the sounds around them.
Over time, they learn to distinguish these sounds as part of figuring out who and what are worth dealing with in their immediate environment. A baby’s effort to learn the difference between hearing and listening requires a rudimentary form of reasoning or thinking. Most babies discover they have to listen a lot before they can start talking. ” (Washington’s. Mom) Babies will then learn that by listening then responding, they will get a chance to speak. By developing good listening skills we learn to understand and obtain information.
Some children are naturally attentive while others may need to focus on their skills. As a parent, we can help children to be better listeners by engaging into conversations with them or by playing games that my help them become better listeners. Effective listening skills are essential in many areas of life; such as, school, friendship and a career. It is vital to begin developing good listening skills during childhood so that a person can make a unconscious effort in engaging into a productive conversation. Listening effectively is an acquired skill.